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Bridging the Gap


Design Software Experiences


By Gretchen A. Peck


Part 1 of 3


Creative collaboration is essential to the success of any large format project. The most seamless, flawless, and efficient workflows are those that begin with a conversation among clients, artists, and print suppliers—a discussion that explores the creative and manufacturing possibilities, solidifies common goals and expectations, and ensures that all parties possess a better appreciation for the processes and challenges married to producing brilliant big print.


Not all print providers have the ability or funds for in-house designers. However, they must be able to work with freelancers or creative agencies to ensure the final output is desirable for the client. The ability to communicate is critical, especially when dealing with large format print. Specific colors must be matched, large file sizes are essential. Design software—user friendly for both the print and creative sides—bridges the gap.


The September print issue of Digital Output discusses the importance of collaboration with several real-world end user stories. Below we include one graphic designer and his story, exclusive to this Web series.


Correct Color

Valdus Vilutis is a Lithuania-based graphic designer who spent most of his professional career in creative and prepress roles before founding his own digital print company in 2008. Today, he is best known for giclée printing and fine art reproductions produced on a 44-inch Canon U.S.A., Inc. imagePROGRAF iPF8100 printer. According to Vilutis, the device’s calibration engine allows for the creation of custom color profiles that require less color correction.


Despite this beneficial feature, it’s in the creative and prepress workflow where most of the magic happens. “The monitors I use are calibrated with an X-Rite i1Pro device and i1Match 3 software. I read printed targets with the i1Pro device and X-Rite ProfileMaker measurement tool, and use X-Rite’s MonacoPROFILER v.4.8 to generate ICC profiles,” he explains.


Vilutis relies on a combination of Adobe Systems Incorporated’s Photoshop and Corel Corporation’s CorelDRAW Graphics Suit X5 for image optimization and layout. “Using CorelDRAW greatly improves my print productivity,” he asserts.


“In the most recent version of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, they implemented a color engine to meet current standards. This lets me print not only exclusive fine art prints, but other common products, like indoor posters on standard graphic papers,” explains Vilutis. “Now, I can print vector graphics directly from CorelDRAW X5, which produces very similar results to Adobe Photoshop.


Vilutis particularly appreciates the imposition—or nesting—tools within CorelDRAW and Corel Ventura, because it allows him to print several smaller-formatted documents across the 44-inch media. Media constantly used in-house includes products from Fujifilm North America Corporation, InteliCoat Technologies, and Nazdar.


Coming Up

The next two parts in this series discuss plug-ins that aid graphic designers in creating brilliant images at high resolutions for large format graphics and the importance of hard proofing. Also, check out the September print issue of Digital Output for more information on design software.

Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Aug2010, Digital Output

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